Why is AK 47 the same as terrorists?

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Terror hits Europe right in the heart. Whether Breivik or Islamists - the perpetrators have an easy job: Kalashnikovs and pump guns come to us unhindered from the Balkans. Authorities make serious mistakes.

By: Daniel Harrich and Gerhard Brack

Status: 05.01.2016 | archive

Anders Behring Breivik, the right-wing extremist assassin in Norway, was arrested in Germany with weapons and ammunition before he wreaked havoc in Norway. Several insiders confirmed this independently of one another.

This is how the assassin wanted to be seen: Breivik published this selfie on the day of the attack.

The control is said to have taken place on the autobahn near Wetzlar in Hesse. But after questioning, Breivik was released. The police wanted to inform their colleagues in Norway and, it is said, passed the report on to the BKA. The information never reached Norway. How could that happen? Breivik's attack shook the whole of Europe on July 22, 2011: the right-wing extremist killed 77 people. The BKA did not want to comment on the events, referring to Breivik's personal rights.

Police warnings from Bavaria never got through

It wasn't the first case in which European investigative authorities failed. A few days before the recent attacks in Paris, on November 5, 2015, veil investigators stopped a car on the Salzburg-Munich motorway in which they found war weapons and explosives. The driver, a 51-year-old from Montenegro, had eight assault rifles AK-47 Kalashnikov with ammunition, two pistols, three hand grenades and 200 grams TNT-Explosives included. Destination in GPS: Paris, France. It is said that the German investigators passed the warning on to their French colleagues. Apparently the message wasn't taken seriously - or it didn't get through.

Disastrous errors in communication

TV documentary "Weapons for Terror"

How disastrous the failure of the European investigative authorities in matters of arms smuggling is, is now covered exclusively and for the first time in a TV documentary in cooperation with the rbb which the station arte will broadcast tonight at 9:15 p.m.

Communication and cooperation of the European investigative proceedings paint a disastrous picture. How do the instruments of murder used get past controls by the security authorities into the hands of European Islamists and other criminals?

European authorities and politicians are overwhelmed by the challenges posed by illegal weapons. Investigators and experts from the countries affected by the current wave of terrorism, France and Belgium, as well as the hubs of Germany and Bosnia-Herzegovina, the country of origin of many illegal weapons, report on the everyday fight against smugglers and smugglers; Because for decades, more precisely, since the end of the Balkan Wars, weapons of war have been reaching all European countries almost unhindered and thus into the hands of terrorists and other criminals.

Brussels: headquarters for gun dealers

One of the weapons of right-wing extremist Anders Breivik.

The trail of the weapons used in the attacks of the past few months leads time and again to the capital of Europe, to Brussels, and from there back to the Balkans. This connection has existed since the Balkan Wars in the 1990s. Brussels was the fulcrum, the organizational center of the jihadists in the fight for Bosnia, which was considered the bulwark of Islam in Europe. Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden also sent his mujahideen to Bosnia in 1993. Islamist fighters, equipment and weapons were directed to the small country from all over the world - mostly coordinated via the European capital Brussels.

Thousands of jihadists in Europe

Bosnia-Herzegovina has been marked by war and destruction to this day. The rifts run deep - socially and economically, often along the dividing lines of religious and ethnic affiliation. Saudi Arabia and Qatar in particular have been supporting the country financially for years. In 2000 they built the largest mosque in Southeast Europe, built schools and set up aid projects. Since then, Wahabism, an ultra-conservative Islamic religion that is particularly widespread in Saudi Arabia, has found more and more supporters in the region.

In addition, there are thousands of jihadists who stayed in the country after the end of the war. These jihadists still maintain close relationships with Islamists in Europe, especially in France, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

Germany is the hub for war weapons from Bosnia.

Bosnia-Herzegovina's criminal police, SIPA, confirms that their country is now the secret hub for Islamic fighters and weapons to Syria, Iraq and Libya. For example, Nusret Imamovic, a religious leader of the Wahabi community, has been with the Sunni Al-Nusra Brigades in Syria since 2013 and on the United States' Most Wanted Terrorist List since 2014. The networks from the war are still active and have kept the Bosnian connection alive for years.

Ineffective controls: Guns enjoy a fair amount of freedom to travel in Europe.

The Balkans were flooded with weapons of war during the war. Statistics assume an average of ten small arms per inhabitant, i.e. rifles, pistols, assault rifles, bazookas, etc. - mostly in illegal private possession. These weapons are available, traded and exported, confirms the Ministry of Interior of Bosnia-Herzegovina. At the same time, the head of the special unit to combat the illegal arms trade reported to the Federal Police SIPA on his agency's operations. Huge stocks of weapons are regularly seized, as shown by photos and videos. But, as the special investigator confirms in an interview, all of this is just a drop in the ocean.

The Chief of Staff of the European police authority EUROPOL, Brian Donald, repeatedly emphasizes in an interview that the illegal arms trade from the Balkans is completely out of control. His authority, which advises and coordinates the actions of all 28 member states, sees itself unable to avert the threat of arms smuggling.

Scandalous failure by the authorities

Germany, France and Belgium are hubs, transit countries and destinations for illegal weapons. Arms smugglers' networks bring weapons of war into the hands of criminals and murderers. At the same time, the European investigative authorities seem overwhelmed, helpless and uncoordinated in the fight against terrorist structures and criminal networks as well as in the fight against illegal arms flows.

In two critical cases, the communication between the authorities of the EU member states failed in a scandalous way. There is also no uniform weapons law at European level, which further complicates the investigation and prosecution approaches. In order to do justice to the current dangers posed by increasing terrorist threats in Europe, the investigative authorities must finally communicate efficiently - there must be cross-border European cooperation.

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